The Lyman Trail is where Jeep proves its capability so you know what this baby can do.
You’ve seen it on the sides of Jeeps for a while: a Trail Rated badge announces the capability and bravado of the Jeep brand. Not all Jeep models are trail rated, though all are capable on most on the trails that they may come across.
But how does Jeep know if a vehicle is capable of driving through water, mud, and gravel? And in deep snow, on steep hills and badly rutted roads? And how do they know that each improvement or evolution of a part or process will meet the demands of Hell’s Gate or the Rubicon Trail? We took it off road to find out.
But first, an off-road test trail
To test out each new development, they have their own off-road test trail at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan to be sure it is worthy of pursuing further. From there each vehicle tests in other places, but this is where it starts.
Once a new design is approved, engineers take it out to the proving ground and test it against the criteria that it’ll face in the real world. We got a chance to drive this trail and test out the well-proven Jeep Wrangler on the trails that Jeep uses to challenge each feature on their four-wheel-drive systems.
Here are the challenges that Jeep puts its vehicles through to ensure they are worthy of what being labeled “Trail Rated.”
What we listened to in the Jeep Wrangler
While off-roading you probably want to listen to the sounds of the forest, the splashing of the mud and the rocks as your Jeep crushes them. You should also listen to your Jeep to know that the engine, transmission, suspension, and scrape plates are doing their job. But getting to and from the trail, you need a good soundtrack. This is what we listened to in the Jeep Wrangler.